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Catechesis Notes for the Week

The First & Second Commandment

The Frist Commandment, (which we learnt last week), urges us to ‘Trust God’; for to have a God is nothing other than trusting and believing in Him with the heart; expecting all good from Him and taking refuge in Him in all distress.  Luther teaches us that, “if the confidence and faith of the heart is right, then your God is also true. On the other hand, if your trust is false and wrong, then you do not have the true God. Whatever you set your heart on and put your trust in is truly your God.”  To have this trust in God, is the true worship and honour of Him, and greatly pleasing to Him.

Idolatry therefore happens not merely by erecting an image and worshipping it, but rather happens in the heart. A person is an idolater if their heart seeks help and consolation from other creatures, people or the Devil, rather than God; if they do not care for God, nor look to Him for anything better than to believe that he is willing to help, nor believe that whatever good they experience, comes from Him.

The Second Commandment directs the mouth and tongue to God For the first things that spring from the heart and show themselves, are words. People misuse God’s Name when they use it to deceive or do wrong in any way. This happens when people take oaths in courts, and speak lies against the other, for God’s name cannot be misused worse than for the support of falsehood and deceit. But the greatest abuse occurs in spiritual matters, for these have to do with the conscience, when false preachers rise up and offer their lying vanities as God’s Word.

So, you must learn how to use God’s Name right. This commandment forbids using the holy Name of God for falsehood or wickedness, but commands us to use it for truth and all good, like when someone takes an oath truthfully when it is needed and it is demanded. This commandment also applies to right teaching and to calling on His Name in trouble or praising and thanking Him in prosperity and so on.

Excerpts from Dr Martin Luther’s Large Catechism by Pr Mark (adapted)

Mark Hampel

About the author


Mark Hampel is an enthusiastic communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in churches and schools in 3 states. He currently lives in Chinchilla, Qld. His passion is building up the faith of God’s people and working with them so that all will come to know Christ as their joy and salvation.

Mark is happily married to Veronica and they have 4 children and 4 grandsons. He is also a farmer of sorts, having spent the last decade establishing a date plantation in Western Queensland. Other hobbies include Australian history, travel, film & literature and of course, family.

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Downfall Creek

St John’s

St John’s Downfall Creek, has been a centre of Christian faith and life in the area for over 100 years. They operated a Christian school for twenty-two years (1940 – 62).

This faith community is a warm-hearted bunch, who love to share their hospitality with the district. They enjoy many a pot luck dinner and host ‘Easter Dawn Service & Breakfast’, ‘Christmas Eve’ & ‘Advent Tea’’ and ‘Games Nights’ for the community.

Home Groups are an important part of life in the Downfall. Discussion and exploration of the faith are encouraged.

Religious Education at the nearby Guluguba Primary School is provided by St John’s.

Downfall Creek



Redeemer Miles, is a dedicated group who know the love of Christ and are keen to share it. They meet regularly in various homes throughout the district for intergenerational worship and home groups.  

Religious Education at nearby Drillham State Primary School is provided by Redeemer.



The Charleville faith community meet for worship once a month, then go out for a fellowship meal together. A Home Group is planned to begin soon.

They host the annual ‘Western Muster’, an ecumenical Bible teaching gathering, held on the first weekend after Easter.


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